LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Steamboat Willie has entered the public domain after 95 years under copyright and has been given a revamp by ROKiT Studios and Windy Tales Animation.
The production of Steamboat Willie took place between July and September 1928, despite some doubt among the animators that a sound cartoon would appear believable enough, and opened at New York’s Colony Theater on November 18th 1928 – a date that would become known as ‘Mickey’s Birthday’ – to rapturous applause and enthusiasm.
Steamboat Willie is recognized as a major landmark in the history of animation. The first film to star Mickey Mouse, it rendered silent animation obsolete and launched the Disney empire.
Jonathan Kendrick, Chairman and co-founder of the ROKiT Group of Companies commented “We are delighted to have been able to revamp the iconic Steamboat Willie movie with newly-added color, now the copyright has expired, and relaunch this masterpiece for a new audience on our ROKiT Flix streaming platform globally, free of charge. We offer this as a homage to the genius of Walt Disney and we hope our audiences not only love watching it but also appreciate the historical importance of this seminal film.”
Driven by a passion to create great stories targeting a global audience, Jonathan Kendrick launched ROKiT Flix in May 2023 as the world’s first free-to-view family-friendly streaming service free from adverts and is paving the way for consumers, parents and children to experience entertainment across various verticals such as 3D animation, classic cartoons, animated shorts, dubbed original content, educational content and public domain motion comics powered by ROKiT Motionise.
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